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And lead thee by this little living hand

That death shall make so strong, to that great end
Whence it shall lighten like a God's, and strike

Dead the strong heart of battle that would break
Athens; but ye, pray for this land, old men,
That it may bring forth never child on earth
To love it less, for none may more, than we.

550

CHORUS.

Out of the north wind grief came forth,

And the shining of a sword out of the sea.

[Str. I.

Yea, of old the first-blown blast blew the prelude of

this last,

The blast of his trumpet upon Rhodope.

Out of the north skies full of his cloud,

With the clamour of his storms as of a crowd

At the wheels of a great king crying aloud,
At the axle of a strong king's car

That has girded on the girdle of war-
With hands that lightened the skies in sunder
And feet whose fall was followed of thunder,
A God, a great God strange of name,

560

With horse-yoke fleeter-hoofed than flame,

To the mountain bed of a maiden came,

Oreithyia, the bride mismated,

Wofully wed in a snow-strewn bed

570

With a bridegroom that kisses the bride's mouth.

dead;

Without garland, without glory, without song,

As a fawn by night on the hills belated,
Given over for a spoil unto the strong.

From lips how pale so keen a wail

At the

[Ant. 1.

grasp of a God's hand on her she gave,

When his breath that darkens air made a havoc of

her hair,

It rang from the mountain even to the wave ;

Rang with a cry, Woe's me, woe is me!

From the darkness upon Hæmus to the sea:

580

And with hands that clung to her new lord's knee,

As a virgin overborne with shame,

She besought him by her spouseless fame,

By the blameless breasts of a maid unmarried
And locks unmaidenly rent and harried,

And all her flower of body, born

To match the maidenhood of morn,

With the might of the wind's wrath wrenched and

torn.

Vain, all vain as a dead man's vision

Falling by night in his old friend's sight,

590

To be scattered with slumber and slain ere light;
Such a breath of such a bridegroom in that hour
Of her prayers made mock, of her fears derision,
And a ravage of her youth as of a flower.
With a leap of his limbs as a lion's, a cry from his
lips as of thunder,

[Str. 2.

In a storm of amorous godhead filled with

fire,

From the height of the heaven that was rent with

the roar of his coming in sunder,

Sprang the strong God on the spoil of his desire. And the pines of the hills were as green reeds shattered,

And their branches as buds of the soft spring

scattered,

600

And the west wind and east, and the sound of the

south,

Fell dumb at the blast of the north wind's mouth,

At the cry of his coming out of heaven.

D

And the wild beasts quailed in the rifts and hollows Where hound nor clarion of huntsman follows,

And the depths of the sea were aghast, and whitened, And the crowns of their waves were as flame that

lightened,

And the heart of the floods thereof was riven.

But she knew not him coming for terror, she felt not her wrong that he wrought her,

[Ant. 2.

When her locks as leaves were shed before his

breath,

610

And she heard not for terror his prayer, though the

cry was a God's that besought her,

Blown from lips that strew the world-wide seas with death.

For the heart was molten within her to hear,

And her knees beneath her were loosened for

fear,

And her blood fast bound as a frost-bound water, And the soft new bloom of the green earth's daughter

Wind-wasted as blossom of a tree ;

As the wild God rapt her from earth's breast lifted,

On the strength of the stream of his dark breath

drifted,

From the bosom of earth as a bride from the

mother,

620

With storm for bridesman and wreck for brother, As a cloud that he sheds upon the sea.

Of this hoary-headed woe

[Epode.

Song made memory long ago;

Now a younger grief to mourn

Needs a new song younger born.
Who shall teach our tongues to reach

What strange height of saddest speech,
For the new bride's sake that is given to be
A stay to fetter the foot of the sea,

630

Lest it quite spurn down and trample the town,

Ere the violets be dead that were plucked for

its crown,

Or its olive-leaf whiten and wither?

Who shall say of the wind's way

That he journeyed yesterday,

Or the track of the storm that shall sound to

morrow,

If the new be more than the grey-grown sorrow?

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